A business owner in New Jersey explains why he’s not currently hiring. He goes into detail about how much it costs the employee to work, and how much it costs him as the employer to employ, and sums up with what I suspect are the feelings of many business owners in America who are sitting on cash right now waiting for the right time to invest, but who are uncertain and wary of doing so under this anti-business administration:
Every year, we negotiate a renewal to our health coverage. This year, our provider demanded a 28% increase in premiums—for a lesser plan. This is in part a tax increase that the federal government has co-opted insurance providers to collect. We had never faced an increase anywhere near this large; in each of the last two years, the increase was under 10%.
To offset tax increases and steepening rises in health-insurance premiums, my company needs sustainably higher profits and sales—something unlikely in this “summer of recovery.” We can’t pass the additional costs onto our customers, because the market is too tight and we’d lose sales. Only governments can raise prices repeatedly and pretend there will be no consequences.
And even if the economic outlook were more encouraging, increasing revenues is always uncertain and expensive. As much as I might want to hire new salespeople, engineers and marketing staff in an effort to grow, I would be increasing my company’s vulnerability to government decisions to raise taxes, to policies that make health insurance more expensive, and to the difficulties of this economic environment.
A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government’s message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.
And yet there are still people wondering why the unemployment numbers aren’t getting any better? They can stop wondering now. In reality, the could have stopped wondering the moment that Barack Obama was sworn in as President. This opinion piece just puts a fine point on it all.